Read the play here.


Read the original play, by Sophocles, here.

Sophocles’ Antigone

Here are some essay topics. We will return to these later in the unit.

Study Questions & Essay Topics


Background Research

It is important to understand the context of this play – or rather, contexts. There is the ancient Greek context of the original story of Antigone, for which it is important to understand the conventions of ancient Greek tragedy – of which the author, Sophocles, was a prime exponent. But then there is also the context of France in the 1940’s when Jean Anouilh was writing – both the political context (occupied Vichy France) and the cultural context of French theatre at the time.

Here are the research topics we need to focus on:

  • conventions of ancient Greek tragedy
  • Sophocles as playwright
  • political background to Anouilh’s play and its reception in 1942
  • conventions of French theatre (from the 1890’s to the 1940’s)
  • trends in philosophy and theatre in Paris in the 1940’s (including other writers)
Each student will focus on one of these topics and present their research findings to the class. One period of class time will be given over for preparation. Watch Veracross for dates.

As you are reading the play, refer to the documents below to help your understanding.

Character Analysis

Themes Motifs Symbols



Written Task

You will be expected to write one Written Task on this unit. The focus and format will be up to you. Follow the usual Written Task process:

  • send me your idea and summary of rationale for initial approval
  • send me your first draft for comment
  • hand in the final draft by the due date

Watch Veracross for dates.

Further Oral Activity

This will be centered on the confrontation between Antigone and Creon. The exact details will be discussed in class so that the students have as much input as possible into the final product.


The final summative essay will be taken from one of the topics at the top of this page. Watch Veracross for dates.